About Daylight Saving Time – History, rationale, laws & dates

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

I am not a fan of Daylight Saving Time, but I learned more about it from this site than I thought there was to learn. I guess the real question is how does the time change affect your gardening? If you are a morning person and prefer to garden early in the day, before it heats up, then I guess DST makes you get up even earlier. But if you like to garden at the end of the day, then DST gives you more daylight when you need it most.

I used to say I was a morning person, and I still do my best work–gardening, writing, whatever–in the morning, but I have come to realize I have a secondary productive period in the evening. It’s the afternoon that’s my worst time, and DST doesn’t help with that. A siesta just might, however. When all’s said and done, what I really wish is that heat wasn’t a factor in my gardening plans. Give me a climate that never gets above 85 degrees F (30C), or wave a magic wand and make me tough enough to take it. When’s your favorite time to garden?

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

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Carol Ithaca March 26, 2008, 1:00 pm

If you’re a birder, then you KNOW the answer to this question – morning’s the best – and awake, if not up, with the dawn chorus. Gardening and birding (albeit by ear) are a great match. So far, there’s been a lone robin singing away but he’s a sure sign of the growing season to come. And more birds are returning . . . and singing their hearts out. (It would be nice to think they’re doing it for us, wouldn’t it?) Bring it on!

Bonnie March 15, 2008, 2:38 pm

I’m a “take it when I can get it” gardener. But this latest time change has certainly made my morning routine bit tougher since none of the kids want to get up and go to school. When summer hits, I only garden in the morning. Too hot in the afternoon and too tired in the evening.

Shady Gardener March 12, 2008, 12:19 am

I’m a morning gardener, too. But when the weather is not terribly hot, I’m an all-day gardener (if possible!). There’s always so much to do, isn’t there? And if there’s not, I can look for something to do out there! 😉

kate March 11, 2008, 6:37 pm

I tend to function best in the late afternoon onwards … so that’s when I garden. It varies though. We don’t have DST here – it would be easier if we did because we have to keep track of the different times around us. Every now and then, there’s a push to adopt DST, but so far farmers don’t want it (or at least that’s what we are told)!

Good question – I enjoyed your book review in a later post and stumbled it for you.

commonweeder March 11, 2008, 12:07 pm

Great question Kathy. I am a mid-morning gardener. I worry about getting out too early when it is wet and dewy ( although maybe beans are the only thing that are a problem) so I write until things have dried out a bit. I’m a freelance writer. Evenings don’t work very well for me because of the bugs! I don’t mind afternoons, but by 5 the sun is over the yard arm and the bugs are out in force.

Kathy Purdy March 11, 2008, 9:07 am

Personal disposition, personal circumstances, and climate seem to be the three determining factors. I have really enjoyed reading all the responses. The one thing I don’t like about gardening in the morning is we normally have a heavy dew on the ground and I can get soaked up to my shins just walking around wondering what I should work on first!

Dee/reddirtramblings March 11, 2008, 8:27 am

In extremely hot OK, I garden in the a.m. until 11:00 which is sweat stream running down my back hot. In the early evening, the striped moquitos come out to feast, so I don’t like to garden then.~~Dee

Diana March 10, 2008, 8:44 pm

Oh, I’m a mid-day, afternoon and evening gardener. Somehow, I always find myself up to my elbows in dirt and mulch right when it’s time to come in and fix dinner or tend to dogs. Which is why, in the nicer months (which here is most of them!) I don’t cook or clean nearly as much! I specifically try to get housework and indoor things done early in the day so the rest is free for me to appreciate the sunlight. That said, I still hate the switching of DST — both ways. I don’t think it’s right to mess with our internal clocks – especially the little ones’!

Zoey March 10, 2008, 5:21 pm

It’s morning for me, Kathy.

I am out there as soon as it’s light on the weekends (about 6a.m.). I do all my heavy duty garden chores early in the day. By 3;00 p.m., I am ready to just walk around with a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

During the work week, I do a bit more during the early evening. Only because it’s the only time I have.

Jane Marie March 10, 2008, 4:38 pm

I don’t care what DST does to your garden. It does terrible things to me. It’s like having jet lag twice a year. Can’t we just have one time and leave it at that? Chose one, I don’t care which, and leave my clocks alone.

danielle March 10, 2008, 9:45 am

I prefer to garden in the morning, but unfortunately, the job that allows me to garden, does not allow me to do so in the morning. So, I usually do most on weekday afternoons and weekends. Because of work, I do enjoy the benefits of DST, but I really hate the time changing business. I’d prefer to just stick with one time all year.

Lynn March 10, 2008, 5:40 am

I get a burst of garden-want early in the day, when the house is still asleep. Gives you time to putter and water and think. Thing is, doesn’t happen all that often cause I’m usually sleeping, too 😉 Thanks for the DST info. They don’t have it here on the equator.

Pam/Digging March 10, 2008, 3:33 am

Fall, winter, and spring. I can’t take the heat either, though I live where it gets ungodly hot.

Robin March 9, 2008, 10:05 pm

I love to garden late in the day. I’m not a morning person.

Ellis Hollow March 9, 2008, 9:50 pm

I think we’re also so $%@#^ tired of winter that we find DST interesting and even controversial — and it hasn’t been all that bad a winter.

Jenn March 9, 2008, 8:25 pm

I think DST is evil and while I admire Ben like a Grandfather, I don’t understand why he thought this was such a great idea.

My favorite anecdote is from a dairy farmer:
Got to do the same thing you always do anyway, cows don’t know any different.

And it plays bloody havoc with people’s circadian rhythms – all the studies that show more accidents, less productivity, etc, etc… Mark says it’s the insurance lobby that keeps it alive – with all those accidents, they can increase their rates.

Time to garden? Used to be right when I got home from work, I’d walk the garden, pull weeds, visit all my plants. That was in Michigan.

Here in Arizona, I haven’t really developed strong habits. Still trying to get adapted to the climate.

I can say that I am really enjoying living in a state that doesn’t follow the insanity of DST.


sherry March 9, 2008, 7:34 pm

I’m a morning person through and through. What isn’t done by noon won’t get done. I do NOT like DST. Detest it. It is sooo wrong…so very, very wrong……. Weird. Bad. Yucky! Did I tell you I don’t like DST? LOL!

Kim March 9, 2008, 7:32 pm

I’m a night owl… although I love the idea of being a morning person, I have never quite achieved that. 🙂 But I love staying up working in the garden, even past dark.

Tracy March 9, 2008, 6:26 pm

I’m an afternoon-into-evening kind of gardener—that allows my kids time to play outside while I get the gardening done. Although, if truth be told, I’m really more of a weekend gardener–my large stretches of gardening time really take place at the weekend.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens March 9, 2008, 4:17 pm

I prefer to garden in the morning, but with DST (which is still relatively ‘new’ in Indiana), I am adjusting to doing more in the evenings.

It is nice to know that there will be plenty of daylight to mow the lawn after work most of the summer.

But, these past few weeks it has been “almost” light out on my drive to work; now it will be dark again. Bleh.

Gail March 9, 2008, 3:33 pm

Thanks for asking…I like to garden in the mornings (when I am not working) after a cup Italian Roast coffee and peanut butter wheat toast….I work till way after lunch, shower and clean up and then wish I hadn’t showered and cleaned up because there is that one more something I want to do…


jodi March 9, 2008, 3:32 pm

I sort of sandwich it in wherever, except for midday–that’s when I do write, or nap, for sure. I’ve never been a morning person so I love DSt–I’m far less cranky when there’s more light while I’m up and functional, and I don’t care about it being light at 6 am because I probably only went to sleep between 3 and 4…:-) Thankfully, freelance journalists can do this.

CJ March 9, 2008, 3:17 pm

I’m a morning gardener. By mid-afternoon my youngest is taking her nap and I want to sit in my newly weed-free garden and read a book that doesn’t rhyme! LOL